Personal Development Health and Physical Education (PEEPED) has been adopted as a Key Learning Area (KLAN) into the NEWS curriculum for many years now. One may find themselves questioning the relevance of such a subject in comparison to other more academically based Klaus such as Mathematics, English, or Science and Technology. Why teach PEEPED? Should PEEPED be compulsory or an elective subject? Should parent’s be in charge of teaching their children about health and fitness? Should physical education be taught outside school hours?
In order to answer these questions we need to understand what the subject is about and how it fits into the education system. Margery Evans (2013), in her reflection on the purpose of schools education, states ‘One of the things that’s not always made explicit is the direct correlation between the impact of a universal system of high quality school education, and democratic, social and economic prosperity. The purpose of school has never Just been about educating a child to be Job-ready, it is equally about securing the future of a nation” (Evans, 2013).
Therefore, the purpose of education in Australia goes beyond Just helping students develop skills required to become members of the workforce, it is also about ensuring a better quality of life within current and future communities. With this in mind we look to the NEWS PEEPED syllabus to find out what the subject really is all about. “PEEPED K-6 integrates learning in a number of previously separate areas of the curriculum. It is concerned with the development of the whole person and the improvement of quality of life for all students.
It encourages students to develop a commitment to life planning” (NEWS BOSS PEEPED, 1999 p. 5). PEEPED is about providing students with the tools needed to live active, healthy and fulfilling lives and as such be more able to contribute to future societies. In 1996 the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services published Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. This report states that “people could substantially improve their health and quality of life by including moderate amounts of physical activity in their daily lives” (DASH 1996).
The report states that there are a large number of benefits that can come from regular participation in physical activity. These include reducing the risk of early death from heart disease; and of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, or colon cancer. As a student who had to partake in physical education (PEE) for most of my schooling life, I understand how some people may develop a disdain towards doing physical activity. I still remember the negative experiences of PEE in my primary school.
My teacher believed that the harder you exercise and the more intense the activity was, the greater the benefits would be. I still remember having to run laps around an oval at the beginning of each PEE class while the teacher would yell at us to pick a faster ace. I also remember trying to hide in the background during team games because I was not as good as the other girls my age. I was quite self-conscience in my sport uniform, and hated it if I was asked to do an activity in front of my peers. Today’s different emphasis on less intense, more moderate amounts of physical activity, and on flexibility to vary activities according to personal preference, will encourage both children and adults to make physical activity a regular and sustainable part of their elves” ( I Nils Is good Decease students, won may De salary to me, could be able to take their time to develop necessary skills and to try different activities. According to Vocal (1986, p. 498) research has provided evidence that effective PEE programs can: * Positively affect (although possibly indirectly) the students’ academic performance.
According to the NEWS PEEPED K-6 Syllabus, students develop decision making, communication, interacting, movement and problem solving skills which could be used across all other Klaus. * Bring out positive changes in students’ level of physical activity * Improve the child’s feelings about physical activity and fitness * Improve body composition Increase child’s knowledge about healthy lifestyles * Improve muscular endurance, power and strength; static balance; and flexibility of the hip and spine * Improve the child’s performance on selected measures of perceptual ability.
As a student and a future teacher these are all desirable outcomes, but I need to understand that all this doesn’t happen overnight; rather it takes careful planning, programming and implementation. As a future teacher there’s a lot to consider when teaching PEE. The class size needs to be considered as I may be working with a whole school, stage, or class group. I would also need to organize time for both theory and physical work in PEEPED.
The Policy Standards for Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parent’s K – 12 (DIET, 2006) states that teachers should allocate approximately 2 hours per week to planned PEE and sport. Within the allocated time I need to consider the nature of the content being taught. Many Fundamental Movement Skills (FM) (which include static balance, sprint run, vertical Jump, side gallop, catch, kick, hop, skip, leap, overran throw, two-hand strike, dodge) need to first be taught and mastered in “order to enjoy he wide range of physical activities, sports and recreational pursuits offered in our communities” (DIET, 2000).
These skills are not picked up naturally as part of a child’s development and can take anywhere “between 240 and 600 minutes of instruction time to become proficient in one fundamental movement skill” (DIET, 2000). I also need to be aware of students’ special requirements, safety and welfare. The Sport and Physical Activity in Schools Safe Conduct Guidelines (DIET, 2012) is a very helpful guide that helps provide the appropriate support and resources needed to deal with a number of safety issues.
Other things that I would need to consider as a future teacher are the students’ varied skill level, their age and developmental stage, the equipment and facilities available; and other teachers’ individual attitudes towards the PEEPED KLAN affecting priorities and choice. Readdressed, McHugh, ; Scouts (2010) conducted a survey of NEWS schools, out of 401 participants, 293 endorsed specialist teachers, of these only 62 were in PEEPED KLAN. This shows that l, as a future generalist teacher, will likely end up teaching the PEEPED KLAN.
Although I may not have the extensive content knowledge of a specialist teacher, I will better know the lassoer dynamics and students’ individual needs as I would have been teaching them across other Klaus. Unfortunately, PEE has for a long time not been practiced as intended in the NEWS syllabus. This may be the result of the primary teacher being ill- prepared, lacking in enthusiasm and also blaming age and gender (Kirk, 1988). The good thing, in today’s modern society, is that pre-service teachers are studying how and why to teach PEE.
As a result “one of the most encouraging findings was that so many AT ten teachers In ten 20-30 year age group Drill a positive perspective to ten caching and learning opportunities provided for students” (Webster, 2002). Their pre-service courses undertaken allowed them to be more flexible and have greater content knowledge. Many of the teachers, in this age group, have completed a major course in PEE and believe that it is a high priority in their schools.
As a future PEE teacher, I now know that I would need to be a good role model for students, have the right attitude/personality, be approachable and genuine, and be fair. I hope to have a physical education program or approach that’s designed for every child, from the least skilled to the most athletic. I realism that no two children are exactly alike. There are obvious physical differences and more subtle personality and individual differences. What is exciting to one child could be boring to another. Some students are able to accomplish a great deal on their own, others require more one on one help.
I also know that when a child becomes more competent in an activity, they begin to have more confidence in their physical abilities, which will in turn lead to them wanting to participate regularly in physical education. “It is the responsibility of physical educators to help develop in children the positive experiences, physical kills, and feelings of self-efficacy needed to be active in adulthood” (Panging, 2003). This is why it is so important to have student-centered approach to learning in PEE, allowing students to master the skills needed to be physically active for a lifetime.
As a member of the community I worry that in previous generations children played much more actively and freely. Today concerns about health and safety, the advances in technology, the accessibility of fast food chains, and extra artificial preservatives and additives in food have led to what is being termed ‘globosity. According to IHA 2013) 3 in 5 Australian adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese. Also overweight and obesity is only beaten by smoking and high blood pressure as a contributor to burden of disease.
These statistics show how necessary it is to provide students with skills and attitudes not only to become more physically active, but to ensure their entire wellbeing. We have established that effective PEE could result in entire well-being. Students who have mastered their Fundamental Movement Skills and have become more motivated through PEE will want to live healthy and active life- styles outside of school. This leads to more community facilities such as pools, gyms, skate parks, parks and ovals, cycle ways, community halls, etc.
These facilities are becoming more and more accessible, and are helping provide many Job opportunities. Unfortunately, there have been perceptions that fitness centers are for the young and fit, and the general public became somewhat intimidated. One way the industry will be able to overcome this is by making more people aware of the importance of regular physical exercise and providing them with the FM and confidence to give these facilities a try. Regular physical activity is a key ingredient to achieving optimal health and development.